Washington D.C — A new report by the Center for American Progress argues that to ensure the next generation is healthy and has the resources to thrive, we must not consider the public and societal health factors of children, mothers, and families in silos. Indeed, to deliver a stronger and healthier next generation, it is vital to ensure that all children, mothers, and families have access to the public health care they need and that societal inequities that contribute to one’s health are addressed head-on with crucial federal and state social programs. To do this, the report argues, the United States must pursue a holistic approach to perinatal health and early child care support and redress the financial, professional, and health inequities that marginalized and underserved communities have faced for decades.
“Supporting the next generation begins with supporting the current one. Healthy babies start with healthy parents, families, and communities,” said Hailey Gibbs, a senior policy analyst for Early Childhood Policy and co-author of the report. “To deliver this, we must put up safety nets that protect against the impacts of climate change and ensure financial security and access to education for all families, no matter their background, income, or ZIP code.”
Specifically, to enhance maternal and infant health and address the day-to-day societal impacts on our well-being, Congress must continue to invest in expansions to Medicaid and fund policies that invest in financial security, expand access to early education, and take action against climate change and the negative health impacts on our most vulnerable communities. The report also argues that state and federal policies must continue to invest and expand their efforts to break down the silos of addressing public health needs and societal health. By breaking down these age-old silos, we can help more children, families, and communities live safe and healthy lives.
Read the report: “A Strong Start in Life: How Public Health Policies Affect the Well-Being of Pregnancies and Families” by Hailey Gibbs, Marquisha Johns, Osub Ahmed, Maggie Jo Buchanan, and Arohi Pathak
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